After reviewing the ASUS ROG Matrix R9 290X Platinum in March, today we had the chance to test two of these graphics cards in CrossfireX configuration, in comparison with eight opponents. In this review we are not going to discuss a lot about the single Matrix R9 290X Platinum card again. If you have not already done so, we strongly recommend you to read our review for a while.
New CrossFireX Technology
With Radeon R9 290 and 290X, AMD started transferring multi-GPU data via the PCIe slot interface of the card instead of the conventional CrossFire bridge. This new CrossFire technology minimizes data transfer latency thanks to the DMA engine in the AMD CrossFire compositing block, at the same time provides no performance penalty against external bridge.
Test Setup & Methodology
The Intel Core i7 4770K processor was overclocked to 4.625 GHz while all the graphics cards used were operating at stock clocks and stock cooler on air cooling. Meanwhile, the G.Skill TridentX 2666MHz C10 2 X 4GB memory was set to clock speed of 2666 MHz and timing of 10-12-12-25-1T.
Both of the ASUS ROG Matrix R9 290X Platinum cards were set to “Standard” mode with stock GPU clock of 1050 MHz and 1350 MHz (5400 MHz effective) for the video memory.Room temperature was around 31°C throughout the benchmarks.
The ASUS ROG Matrix R9 290X Platinum in single card setup is already hot in my opinion, hitting 81°C on load in 3DMark 11 benchmark. The fan speed recorded was 48%, it is audible but still bearable for my ears.
For dual-card CrossFireX setup the load temperature jumped up to 90°C and the fan profile decided to increase the fan speed to 56%. Meanwhile, the second card maxed out at 83°C and the fan spin at 50%. The fan speed is considered bearable for single card, but for dual-card setup it is very loud.
Thoughts & Verdicts
The ASUS ROG Matrix R9 290X Platinum graphics card scaled well in CrossfireX, achieving about 100% efficiency. It was a joy to go to work with two of these graphics cards. Two ROG Matrix R9 290X Platinum cards in a CrossfireX setup run well in almost all of the game titles that we have tested at 2560 X 1600 resolution even with the highest settings. The performance scaling scored almost 200% in the game benchmarks. Impressive!
Multi-GPU configurations tend to have compatibly issue with new game titles during launches. It is common for AMD or NVIDIA to add the setting profiles before or after a game launch. During the testing, we noticed that only Battlefield 4 gave us problem with the CrossFireX setup. We had some screen flickering issues in this particular game title even though an update containing CrossFireX fix has been applied. We didn’t have the chance to test it with newer drivers because one of the graphics cards has been returned to ASUS, leaving us clueless whether this issue still persists until now.
Besides compatibility issues, multi-card setup requires more space, produce more heat and consume more power. So make sure that you have enough clearance to put the dual cards onto your motherboard. Installing two cards too close to each other will make the temperature turns bad especially the primary card that will suffer from performance hit due to thermal throttling. As for power consumption, you will need to spend more to get a higher wattage power supply unit in order to provide enough power to the graphics cards.
The ASUS ROG Matrix R9 290X Platinum comes with a price tag of RM 2,649. That means two of these cards for CrossFireX will cost you a total of RM 5,298. If you have unlimited budget and want to build an absolute best setup for gaming at high resolution, ASUS ROG Matrix R9 290X Platinum in 2-way CrossFireX is what you want in your rig.
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